Cloth Face Coverings

The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) now recommends wearing cloth face coverings in public settings where other social distancing measures are difficult to maintain (e.g., grocery stores and pharmacies). The CDC also advises the use of simple cloth face coverings to slow the spread of the virus and help people who may have the virus and do not know it from transmitting it to others. If you are not having any symptoms and are going out in public, wearing a cloth face covering will help you from spreading any infection. If you do wear a cloth face covering, the CDC notes it is important to wash it every day to get rid of any trapped viruses or bacteria.

Residents that want to wear masks are advised to use a cloth face covering, scarf or a homemade or “alternative” mask in order to prioritize existing limited supplies of surgical masks for needs in health care settings. 

While cloth face coverings may be an additional step you can consider, it’s important that we all continue to follow these proven prevention recommendations:

  • Maintain social distancing,
  • Cover your cough and sneezes.
  • Wash your hands frequently.
  • Avoid touching your face.
  • Wipe surfaces down regularly to avoid them becoming infected.

Mask guidance

Cloth face mask guidance - Ramsey County

COVID-19 mask do's and don'ts - Minnesota Department of Health

How to make a cloth face covering

Here are some links to information about making a homemade mask from credible sources provided by the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH).


Written instructions 

Other information

Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) donations being accepted

Ramsey County has established a drop-off site to accept requested donations for Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) for staff who work on the front lines responding to COVID-19.